Shrubs or small trees 3-10 m. Branchlets and leaf blade abaxially rusty lepidote. Leaf blade narrowly lanceolate to narrowly oblong-elliptic, 3-10 1-2 cm, apex acuminate, cuspidate. Panicles axillary, 1-4 1-2 cm. Flowers bisexual. Drupe broadly ellipsoid or subglobose, 7-9 4-6 mm, mesocarp somewhat fleshy, thin. Fl. Apr-Aug, fr. Aug-Nov.
The cultivated olive, O. europaea L and its subspecies and varieties, have most of the characteristics of O. africana and is distinguished by the larger, broad-based and more fleshy fruits. These features may have come about through ages of selection and cultivation but they are today established and reproduced in the progeny. Some authorities suggest that O. africana in the broadest source of the cultivated olive, but others favour treating O. ferruginea Royle, an Asian from O. africana and look upon it as the possible ancestor.
Tree, 3-14 m high. Leaves usually densely covered with small scales below, linear-lanceolate to narrowly oblong-elliptic. Inflorescence axillary as well as terminal. Flowers white.
Trees, often 3-14 m high, sometimes stunted bushy growths; branchlets verrucose. Leaves with a tendency for the sides to curl downwards as well as marginal rim being reflexed, dark green above, paler beneath where it is densely covered, rarely fairly sparsely so, with small silvery, golden or pale green scales, linear-lanceolate or narrowly oblong-elliptic, narrowed at base and apex (apex sometimes bluntly rounded), 1.9-8.5 cm long and 0.7-1.5 cm broad, rarely broader (see Clanwilliam and Barberton specimens), mucronate; midrib impressed above, prominent beneath; lateral veins obscure or faintly obvious, loops forming a more or less continuous line within the margin; petiole usually 3-10 mm long. Panicles axillary, sometimes a short terminal panicle present, varying in size, usually shorter than the subtending leaf, the branches verrucose and scaly; bracts deciduous. Flowers small, white. Calyx cupular, up to 1 mm long, very shortly and obscurely 4-toothed. Corolla with a short tube, about 1 mm long; lobes more or less connivent, eventually spreading to reflexed, about 2 mm long, 1.5 mm broad, margins narrowly infolded. Stamens inserted on the corolla, filaments under 1 mm long, more or less terete, anthers attached near the base, 1.5 mm long, 1 mm broad. Ovary subglobose, norrowing into a short style; stigma 2-lobed forming a conico-globose head; ovules pendulous. Drupe green with whitish spots turning black or prune-coloured, subglobose to oblong in outline, up to 1 cm by 9 mm on dry speciments.
Tree, 3-14 m high. Leaves simple; blade narrowly ovate to narrowly oblong-elliptic, 20-85 x 7-15 mm, usually dark green above, paler and densely covered with small scales below, sides tend to curl downwards as well as marginal rim being reflexed. Flowers: many-flowered, mainly in axillary panicles; calyx cupular, up to 1 mm long, 4-toothed; corolla ± 3 mm long, white; Oct.-Feb. Fruit a subglobose to oblong drupe, up to 10 x 9 mm, green with whitish spots turning black or prune-coloured.
From forest and riverside bush to open grassland, flats, stony ground, mountain kloofs and rocky ledges.
Found in a variety of habitats, from forest and riverside bush to open grassveld, flats, stony ground, mountain kloofs and rocky ledges.
Vredefort Dome Savanna; Kalahari Deciduous Acacia-wooded Grassland; Dry Grassland; Mesic Grassland; Dwarf Karroid Shrubland; Zastron Moist Grassland. From forest and riverside bush to open grassland, flats, stony ground, mountain kloofs and rocky ledges.
Recorded very generally throughout South Africa and northwards through east tropical Africa to Eritrea. Also found in the Mascarenes. According to some authorities it occurs in India and Arabia but this may be another, though closely related species.